These were the last words of our previous blog regarding the much-awaited rains. I am absolutely thrilled to inform everyone that that storm has finally come and the transition has (and still is) taking place!
Just before the first proper rains fell to the hard and dry ground, we watched in amazement how hundreds of swallows filled the sky as if they knew what was to come. The call of the Burchell’s Coucal (known by many as the “Rain bird”) vocalised through the thickets, giving us yet another clue. Termite structures started to rise from the earth and it was all too clear that Mother Nature was ready… ready for Her transformation into something spectacular!
The water has broken from the heavens and created an astonishing ripple effect on this once parched land. I have never seen something so incredible. Overnight, the cracks were filled, the dust had settled and the most beautiful form of green pushed through the ground. Overnight, I started to hear the buzzing of insects and the chorus of frogs. All these melodies I had almost forgotten. Birds are singing in celebration as the world around them has become a paradise. You can’t help but to feel overwhelmed with joy as your eyes, ears and everything else becomes encompassed by this marvellous miracle.
We were all besides ourselves to see the first couple of impala lambs as they clumsily moved around their mothers, taking their first steps into this world. I saw one of the first Blue Wildebeest calves at the end of last week with its umbilical cord still attached! I’ve been driving around in absolute amazement, watching how it’s all changing so quickly before my eyes. Termite princes and princesses have been engaging in their nuptial flights as they plan to start their own kingdoms. Eagles have replaced the well-known sight of vultures scavenging off the weak which did not survive the drought. Joyful young elephants and rhinos are playing in their new playground of mud! The buffalo have been relishing the lush, fresh grass and are bulking up rapidly to give the lions an epic battle once again!
In the great words of The Lion King: “It’s the circle of life”… and for now we’re enjoying being on top!
Blog by Chanyn-Lee Zeelie (Earth Lodge Ranger)
Images and videos by Sheldon Hooper